PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -From his perch in the press box, Joe Paterno had a clear view of the havoc unfolding on the field.
Fumbles, missed tackles, ill-timed penalties. It all amounted to an insurmountable first-half deficit Penn State couldn't overcame Thursday at the Rose Bowl.
Final score: Southern California 38, Penn State 24.
Good thing JoePa is coming back for another season as the leader of the Nittany Lions. He wouldn't have wanted want to go out like this.
Big plays, fumbles and ill-timed penalties doomed No. 6 Penn State.
The Nittany Lions' highly regarded defense? Shredded by quarterback Mark Sanchez and No. 5 Southern California. Their Spread HD offense stalled until it was way too late.
of Famer on the sideline probably wouldn't have helped.
No. 6 Penn State (11-2) mounted a respectable comeback with a 17-point fourth quarter. But the early hole was too much for the Nittany Lions to overcome.
``We didn't play as we played all year in the first half,'' Paterno said. ``Against a team as good has Southern California, the way they were playing, you're going to get whipped.''
The Nittany Lions defense, which had allowed just 12.4 points a game coming into Thursday, had given up a season-high in points by halftime, trailing 31-7.
Penn State also gave up a season-high 474 yards to the Trojans, surpassing the previous season-high of 372 (Illinois) by early in the third quarter.
And by that time, Penn State's chances for victory had long disappeared as the sun set on southern California.

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